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Changing with the season

Christian students mark Lenten period with sacrifice

By Natalie Kanakares
On March 8, 2013

  • Parishioners observe Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season with a Mass. Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus

It's an important time of year for those who observe the Lent season.

The season starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter excluding Sundays. The Sundays are omitted and instead represent a "mini-Easter", according to the website of the United Methodist Church. The length of the holiday roughly corresponds with the biblical account of Christ's fast.

This year Ash Wednesday was Feb. 13.  The occasion was marked by Catholics with a Mass during which parishioners had ashen crosses drawn on their foreheads.

 For those who observe Lent, it is a time for reflection and preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated on Easter Sunday.

To celebrate Lent, Christians make a Lent promise. Similar to New Years' resolutions, Lent promises are made to better oneself and must be kept until Easter Sunday. These commitments can involve service to others. However, they often include denial, such as giving up a food, habit or item for the Lenten season. Chocolate, junk food, cigarettes, Facebook and television are among the items most commonly abstained from, according to

Kelsey Knepper, an Early Childhood emphasis and Catholic at Kirkwood Community College, shared her Lent promise for this year: "This year my Lent promise is to take time for my priorities, such as my school work, before I hang out with friends. When I get an assignment I don't let myself procrastinate and I do it that day," she said.

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